Years ago my friend, Landon Saunders, told the story of how he and a church leader made a visit to a family in the community where he served as minister.
For whatever reason this particular family had asked the church to help them in a time of financial need.
I can't remember if they needed help with rent, utilities, food or what. I do remember Landon's account of the church leader's agonizing over whether or not the family in question was "worthy" or deserving of the church's assistance.
During the ride out to make the visit, the leader continued to struggle and at times argue with Landon about using church funds to help relieve the family's burden.
Finally, after much talk and no little tension, Landon told his church friend, "You know, brother, if the good Lord feeds and cares for four billion undeserving people every day, it looks like the church could help out every once in a while!"
With that the conversation ended and the family was assisted.
Making judgments about other people is tricky business, isn't it?
The sad fact is that millions of people, including children, go to bed hungry, homeless, ill and in danger every night around our world. Categories like "deserving" or "undeserving" make no sense in situations of severe human need and suffering. This is all the more true when suffering and need are the result of injustice, oppression and the bad decisions of people with power.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
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